I waited a few days on chiming in on this and let it marinate because I didn't want to get JMac'd.
We discussed this topic on this week's episode of "On the Guestlist", but here's the long and short of it if you're too lazy to watch Halsey's post up above, and Colin's take on it, Halsey supposedly got so frustrated with her label doing label things early this week that she took to social media to vent.
In her venting she referenced the giant elephant in the room (that's been there for a long fucking time now), in that music labels are the absolute worst.
Since distribution and dependency on labels to "breakthrough" was rendered useless thanks to social media and the internet, their scope has had to drastically shift.
Artists no longer need to hope and pray that they get discovered by a label, sign their life away, and cross their fingers for the proper support. As uber-successful indie artists over the past couple of decades have proven, if your stuff is good enough, you can get it out to the masses and do extremely well on your own. Even dog shit artists who have mastered the social media and marketing game have been able to game the system.
The problem lies with the artists who do still sign major label deals. Deals today are usually "360 deals" meaning the label essentially owns everything and takes their pound of flesh from any and all revenue streams. We're talking not just the music, but touring, merch, ad deals, and partnerships, even some investments and artist side deals. It's fuckin crazy.
Halsey's gripe is that she has been sitting on a song she is huge on. She thinks its a hit, and even if it's not, she's passionate about it enough to feel the world and her fans should hear it. There's just one problem...
Her label hasn't been able to craft a fabricated "viral" moment for it on TikTok yet... So they're holding it back.
To say this is a surprise is the biggest lie in the world. Labels have been pulling this shit since the dawn of time. The bigger the artist or group the more clout they have. Especially over time. But for artists still producing material under their first contract, they're at the mercy of their label to an alarming degree.
Even somebody as mega-famous as Adele is, had her label fucked with her. Her last album she originally recorded and presented to her label was rejected by them because they found it too upbeat and happy. Here's one of the biggest musical talents on the planet, who literally prints money (21 sold a staggering 31 million copies. Fun fact - With sales of over 31 million copies worldwide, 21 is the best-selling album of the 21st century, and one of the best-selling albums of all time.) being told by her slavemaster label that they didn't like what she created and to go back to the drawing board. Which is what she did for 30.
So Back to Halsey. She posted this and I wanted nothing more than to chime in and go off on how music labels ruin everything. They're the boss who can't and won't do your job, but loves nothing more than to order you around and tell you they know better than you. But the problem is you can't trust ANYTHING on the internet nowadays.
What seemed originally like an organic good old rant from an artist blasting her bosses needed to be analyzed.
Halsey was calling out her label for stifling her because they were fixated on the song needing a viral moment.
What better way to make things go viral than to dig up and throw gas on the controversy fire. Which either way is exactly what happened here. So you have to ask, was this all staged to stir up virality and draw attention to Halsey and build up anticipation for the new song?
That's called irony. Or it's more bullshit.
Her label eventually issued a public response-
But here's my thing. I love Halsey. I think she's got an awesome voice. She writes great songs, her latest album, If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power is excellent. And she's easy on the eyes.
So I want to take this video at face-value and agree with her.
My only issue is you can't bitch and moan about your label not giving you enough creative control when the reason everybody knows your name, and you got your record deal, to begin with, is because of the song "Closer". 🤮
But as I always say, what do I know?
Here are some playlists and mixes to get you through your Memorial Day Weekend.
If you're not listening to White Sox Dave, Kenny Carkeet, Colin, and my music podcast "On The Guest List", get your shit together and like and subscribe -
Here are the famous Yacht Rock Mixes to bring in the official start of summer!
Here's everything that happened in music this week!
- New Calvin Harris, Dua Lipa, and Young Thug - Potion
- “Potion,” Calvin Harris’ new summer-ready team-up with Dua Lipa and Young Thug, could be construed as a sequel to “One Kiss,” the producer’s 2018 smash collaboration with Lipa, but its disco swagger more closely recalls Harris’ top-notch 2017 full-length Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 (on which Thugger appeared, as a guest on the standout track “Heatstroke”).
- Blackbear with Machine Gun Kelly, “GFY”
- Two of Machine Gun Kelly’s biggest hits to date, 2020’s “My Ex’s Best Friend” and this year’s “Make Up Sex,” feature Blackbear as a wingman in his tales of romantic strife, so it’s only fair that MGK slides in with the assist on Blackbear’s pissed-off post-breakup single. “GFY” seethes in jealousy and pop-punk production flourishes, and while Blackbear sounds furious at the betrayal he can’t forget, Machine Gun Kelly has a ball while rattling off references to Euphoria and The Matrix.
- New Tate McRae - I Used to Think I Could Fly
- I am in love with this girl. (Not literally, I think she's like 17) But figuratively. Her voice is unreal. And taking one look at the credits to her debut album I Used to Think I Could Fly — which includes contributions from Greg Kurstin, FINNEAS, Blake Slatkin, Louis Bell and Charlie Puth, among others — confirms that a lot of veteran pop creators believe in the potential of the Canadian singer-songwriter.
- Harry Styles shot his new music video for only $300
Harry Styles is a legendarily good sport. How good? When his old pal James Corden suggested they hit the streets of Brooklyn on Thursday night’s (May 26) Late Late Show in search of someone willing to let them shoot a low-budget video for the swaying Harry’s House ballad “Daylight,” the singer said he’d give it a shot.
Was he psyched about it? Not really.
Especially after first-time director Corden and crew knocked on a few doors in search of a location for their three-hour, $300 production and got turned down twice. But, undeterred, they knocked on a third and found the perfect spot: a flat that just happened to be occupied by quartet of young women who were properly gobsmacked when they found out who the video star was. “This isn’t real!” said one as she covered her face in disbelief.
- Ed Sheeran Released an Expanded Edition of ‘Equals’
The superstar British singer and songwriter drops = (Tour Edition), a 24-track expanded version of his chart-leading = (equals) album.
As previously reported, Sheeran’s “Tour Edition” features four unreleased songs including “One Life” and “Penguins,” both from the fictional film Yesterday, in which he appears as himself, plus the freshly-minted “I Will Remember You” and “Welcome to the World,” which arrives just days after he and his wife Cherry Seaborn welcoming a baby girl into the world.
The expanded LP also gathers several previously released cuts, including “The Joker And The Queen” featuring Taylor Swift, “Bad Habits” featuring Bring Me to the Horizon, “2step” featuring Budjerah.
- Becky G took center stage at Jimmy Kimmel Live! to perform her current single “Baile Con Mi Ex.”
- Olivia Rodrigo did more than just cover “You Oughta Know” at her Sour Tour stop at L.A.’s Greek Theater on Tuesday night — she also duetted with the woman behind the song, Alanis Morissette.
- Kelly Clarkson Announced ‘Kellyoke’ EP With New Cover of Billie Eilish’s ‘Happier Than Ever’
Clarkson originally performed "Happier Than Ever" on a September 2021 episode of her eponymous talk show.
- Def Leppard dropped a new album, Diamond Star Halos, their 12th studio album. The new LP features “Kick,” a Top 40 debutant on Billboard‘s Mainstream Rock Airplay chart last month, the rockers’ first ranking on that tally since March 2003.
On Wednesday night (May 25), Joe Elliott and Co. stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live to drop a three-song mini-bomb of classics, featuring the classics “Rock of Ages” (from Pyromania), “Hysteria” and “Pour Some Sugar On Me” (both from Hysteria). The trio is now packaged for streaming as an “off-air” performance.
- Florence + The Machine Earned Their Fourth Top Rock Album No. 1 With ‘Dance Fever’
- My ace Liam Gallagher Unveiled His New Solo Album C’MON YOU KNOW
- James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett Rocked The National Anthem During ‘Metallica Night’ at SF Giants Game
- Andy Fletcher, Depeche Mode Co-Founder, Died at 60
The longtime member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers served as the group's connecting tissue for decades.
- My Chemical Romance’s Comeback Song Rules Billboard Rock Charts
"The Foundations of Decay" is off to a strong start, charting at the top
- Alan White, Longtime Yes Drummer, Died at 72
"The news has shocked and stunned the entire YES family," the band wrote in a statement.
- Bob Dylan’s First Studio Recording of ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ Since 1962 Headed to Auction
The track produced by T Bone Burnett was recorded using the Ionic Original disc technology.
Sixty years after Bob first wrote and recorded ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’, he is giving us a new recording of his song; one that is both deeply relevant for our times and resonant with decades of the artist’s life and experience,” Burnett said in a statement. “We’re grateful to Christie’s for their belief in the ‘Ionic Original’ and for presenting Bob’s masterful recording to the world in a unique and meaningful way.”
“Blowin'” is the first recording to use the tech from Burnett’s NeoFidelity Inc. and it will go under the gavel as part of the “Exceptional Sale” on July 7 with an estimated bid range between $752,000 and $1.2 million. In a statement, Burnett said the tech used to create the recording, “advances the art of recorded sound and marks the first breakthrough in analog sound reproduction in more than 70 years, achieving dramatic improvements in listening experience and durability.”
- Bob Moses Is Atop Alternative Airplay Chart
"Love Brand New" is the duo's first No. 1.
I FUCKING LOVE BOB MOSES
- Nine Inch Nails will headline Boston Calling for a second night in a row tonight after a member of The Strokes tested positive for COVID-19.
Trent Reznor and co. were previously tapped by Boston Calling to play as a last-minute replacement for Foo Fighters following the passing of their drummer, Taylor Hawkins. They delivered with a blistering 21-song set on Friday night that included performances of “Somewhat Damaged,” “Perfect Drug,” “Even Deeper,” and “Only,” as well as a cover of David Bowie’s “I’m Afraid of Americans.”
“We’re very sorry for the conditions that led to us being here. With our friends Foo Fighters, our hearts go out to them,” Reznor said prior to NIN’s performance of “Even Deeper.”
“I was sitting backstage, and I was started to freak myself out. We’re not even supposed to be here tonight, and I don’t know if you’ve heard but we’re here tomorrow night,” he continued. “I don’t know if it’s this COVID, sitting in the house for years, but being out in front of a people, I was feeling fucking freaked out. What we weren’t expecting, was a fucking audience audience like this.”
“That’s not some bullshit line — that’s the truth,” Reznor added. “I think the thing — it’s either getting old, whatever happened with COVID, or this relentless stream of never-ending bad news that seems to be happening constantly: people dying, guns, disease, and war. It’s made me very grateful for moments that really fucking kick ass. We’re grateful to be here with you tonight.”
- Bruce Hornsby has enlisted Danielle Haim on his new single “Days Ahead.”
- All-star supergroup The Dead Daisies have unveiled the lead single “Radiance” from their as-yet-untitled upcoming album, due this August. The new song comes just as the band is set to embark on a European tour in early June.
The Dead Daisies have seen a number of lineup changes since forming in 2013, but the latest incarnation of the band is made up of a group of musicians with impressive pedigrees. Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath) handles lead vocals and bass, and is joined by drummer Brian Tichy (Whitesnake, Foreigner, Billy Idol) and guitarists Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake, Dio) and David Lowy (MINK, Red Phoenix).
“Radiance” features big guitar riffs and hard-hitting drums, as Hughes delivers his signature wide-ranging vocals over the heavy rock tune.
- No, you still can’t stream Neil Young on Spotify, but you will have the chance to hear his long-shelved Crazy Horse album Toast this summer. The 2001 record will be released in full on July 8th via Reprise, and today, Young is previewing it with the song “Standing in the Light of Love.”
- Wilco Unveiled a Double Album Cruel Country:
The Chicago veterans embrace country on their new 21-song LP
- Bright Eyes Shared Three EPs of Re-Recorded Old Music Featuring Phoebe Bridgers, Waxahatchee & More
- beabadoobee Shared Her New Single “Lovesong”
- The xx’s Oliver Sim Announced His Debut Album Hideous Bastard, Shared “Hideous”
- Portugal. The Man Covered Sublime’s “Santeria”
- New Kanye!
Kanye West appears to be addressing the ongoing custody battle between him and ex-wife Kim Kardashian, and how it might be affecting him. The song “True Love” was released on Friday (May 27), and features XXXTentacion posthumously providing an emotive assist on the track.
“Wait, when you see the kids? I’ll see y’all tomorrow/ Wait, when the sun set? I see y’all tomorrow/ Wait, when I pick ’em up, I feel like they borrowed/ When I gotta return them, scan ’em like a barcode/ Wait, no hard feelings, but these feelings hard though,” he raps in a verse of the track.
The Yeezy founder then seems to comment on the former couple’s four children — North, Saint, Chicago and Psalm — no longer wearing his clothing products anymore. “Wait, who got the kids in those ‘What are thosе?’/ Wait, why they can’t wear Yeezys with the cargos?/ Y’all know Nikе don’t like me, y’all take it too far, though/ At least have ’em in some Mike’s, he played for Chicago/ I only see three kids, who watchin’ Chicago?” he raps.
Throughout the track, XXXTentacion reflects about the trials and tribulations of love, singing, “True love shouldn’t be this complicated/ I thought I’d die in your arms,” while West assured that “Daddy’s not gone” by the end of the track.
- NEW EMINEM - “Jimmy, Brian and Mike”
This week marks the 20th anniversary of The Eminem Show, the 2002 follow-up to Eminem’s landmark 2020 album The Marshall Mathers LP that found the biggest commercial rap artist in the world grappling with fame and adjusting to a new reality, while still cracking jokes and needling cultural institutions whenever possible. For an expanded edition of the album, Eminem has shared “Jimmy, Brian and Mike,” a party-music goof with plenty of intoxicated gags and personal touches in a little over three minutes; as such, the demo reminds us why Eminem was such a mainstream force in the early ‘00s.
The 38-track deluxe anniversary edition includes the unreleased songs “Stimulate,” “The Conspiracy Freestyle,” “Bump Heads” and “Jimmy, Brain and Mike,” as well as a 2 live freestyles from Tramps in New York in 1999, live versions of “Brain Damage” and “Just Don’t Give a F–k,” from the same show, live takes on “The Way I Am” and “The Real Slim Shady” from Fuji Rock Festival in 2001 and 8 instrumental versions of album tracks.
- Post Malone Revamped The “Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers Theme” for Live-Action Reboot
- Migos’ Quavo and Takeoff (But No Offset) Formed A New Group, Unc and Phew, Drop New Song “Hotel Lobby”
- There's a new documentary coming out on A&E about Rear Ad's favorite artists of all time, Bobby Brown.
Seemingly nothing was left on the cutting-room floor as Bobby Brown relates how he rocketed his way out of the housing projects of Roxbury, Mass., into superstardom — first as a member of R&B/pop boy group New Edition and later as a magnetizing solo act. Along the way, he recounts his “bad boy” reputation, the origin of his signature “Gumby” haircut and love life interludes.
Also covered are Brown’s battles with substance abuse and the law, his marriage to Whitney Houston, the deaths of their daughter Bobbi Kristina and his son Bobby Junior, as well as the positive trajectory he’s on now with his manager-wife Alicia Etheredge-Brown and their children. Supplementing Brown’s storylines are interviews with family and friends plus industry peers such as Usher, Jermaine Dupri, Babyface and New Edition bandmates Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe and Johnny Gill.
- M.I.A. Dropped a New Song ‘The One,’ And Announced a New Album Is on the Way
- Brandy Playfully Hit Back at Jack Harlow With Her ‘First Class’ Freestyle
- The Chainsmokers’ ‘So Far So Good’ Launched at No. 1 on Top Dance/Electronic Albums Chart
- New REZZ, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)”
- NEW Mura Masa, “Blessing Me” Feat. Pa Salieu & Skillibeng
- New Daphni, “Cherry”
- New DJ Seinfeld, “Lost Island”
- New Anti-Up, “Chromatic”
- CloZee Feat. Britt Lari & Dreamers Delight, “Back To The Top”
- New Jimmie Allen and Jennifer Lopez, “On My Way”
- New Carly Pearce, “What He Didn’t Do”
- New Thompson Square, “What We’re Fighting For”
- New Kacey Musgraves, “Can’t Help Falling in Love”
- Newcomer John Morgan Emergeed ‘Right in the Middle’ of Jason Aldean’s Label
Morgan co-wrote the song with Rodney Clawson ("American Kids," "Dirt"), Justin Wilson ("Kiss You in the Morning," "Momma's House") and Will Bundy.
- New Wynonna and Waxahatchee, “Other Side”
- New Ty Herndon, “Til You Get There”
- New Jordan Davis, “What My World Spins Around”
- New Johnny Dailey, “Beers in It”
If I missed anything drop it below. Have a hell of a holiday weekend everybody!